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Rev. Hora Autor Mensagem
8e066ae 2019-04-19 21:14:09 Jean-Michel THOORENS master V300, la Der de Der
ae860cc 2019-04-05 17:14:09 Jean-Michel THOORENS V300 beautified
9cbe292 2019-03-14 17:14:44 Jean-Michel THOORENS Merge framagit.org:Jean-Mi/FAST-FORTH
a12a018 2019-03-14 17:03:04 Jean-Michel THOORENS V 300
2aef465 2019-02-20 18:34:02 Jean-Michel THOORENS Delete desktop.ini
3cd5e0d 2019-02-20 18:33:47 Jean-Michel THOORENS Delete Thumbs.db
3457934 2019-02-05 05:27:51 Jean-Michel THOORENS V3 prerelease added extended assembler
b1c4513 2019-01-31 23:52:18 Jean-Michel THOORENS V208 update FastForth.pdf
4e7e315 2019-01-31 23:32:54 Jean-Michel THOORENS modified QNUMBER, simplified project structure
aa07d61 2019-01-28 23:20:36 Jean-Michel THOORENS V208 corrected for line display with NOECHO


Nome Rev. Hora Autor Mensagem
master 8e066ae 2019-04-19 21:14:09 Jean-Michel THOORENS V300, la Der de Der


FastForth for MSP430FRxxxx TI's chips, from 16k FRAM

Tested on all MSP-EXP430FRxxxx TI launchpads (5739,5969,5994,6989,4133,2355,2433) and CHIPSTICKFR2433, at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 MHz plus 20MHz and 24MHz with FR23xx,FR57xx devices.

Fast Forth is a fast and well-made embedded interpreter/assembler/compiler, very interesting because of its size of 6 KB. This includes the FORTH language, a symbolic assembler without labels, conditional compilation, a 16-input search engine which speeds up the Forth interpreter by a factor of 4 and a connection to the serial terminal (TERATERM.exe), with 3 wires software flow control (XON/XOFF) and/or 4 wires hardware control flow, up to 6 Mbds. If your goal is to program a MSP430FRxxxx in assembler, FAST FORTH is the Swiss Army knife you absolutely need! However, if the IDE works well with Windows 10, it works less well with Linux which suffers from the lack of a good alternative to TERATERM...

For only 3 kbytes in addition, you have the primitives to access the SD_CARD FAT16 and FAT32: read, write, del, download source files and to copy them from PC to the SD_Card. It works with all SD_CARD memories from 64MB to 64GB. The cycle of read/write byte is below 1 us @ 16 MHz. This enables to make a fast data logger with a small footprint as a MSP430FR5738 QFN24.

With all kernel options, including extended_ASM, FastForth size is 11kB.

The files launchpad_xMHz.txt are the executables ready to use with 
a PL2303HXD cable and a serial terminal (TERATERM.exe) at 115200Bds with XON/XOFF,
or RTS hardware flow control
WARNING! don't use it to supply your launchpad: red wire is 5V ==> MSP430FRxxxx destroyed!
(you can modify this by opening the box and by welding red wire on 3.3V pad).

 TI Launchpad      PL2302HXD cable
           RX <--- TX
           TX ---> RX
          GND <--> GND
          RTS ---> CTS (not necessary if software XON/XOFF flow control
                        see in your launchpad.asm to find RTS pin).

The interest of XON/XOFF flow control is to allow 3.75kV galvanic isolation of terminal input
with SOIC8 Si8622EC|ISO7421E, or better yet, powered 5kV galvanic isolation with SOIC16 ISOW7821.

If you want to change the terminal baudrate on the fly (230400 bds up to 6 Mbds),
download to your launchpad the file \MSP430-FORTH\CHNGBAUD.4th.

To see all compilation options, download \MSP430-FORTH\FF_SPECS.4th.

Once the Fast Forth kernel is loaded in the target FRAM memory, you add assembly code or 
FORTH code, or both, by downloading your source files that the embedded FastForth interprets and
Beforehand, the preprocessor GEMA, by means of a \config\gema\target.pat file, will have translated
the generic source file.f in a targeted source file.4th. This allows the assembler to use
symbolic addresses for all peripheral registers without having to declare them in the embedded FORTH.
A set of .bat files in \MSP430-FORTH folder is furnished to do all this automatically.

The download/interpret/compile/execute of a source_file.4th (without comments) is done
at a throughput of 40/80/120 kbytes/s with a 8/16/24 MHz clock and at maximum allowed baudrate. 
Considering a ratio 5/1, that of the compiled code is 8/16/24 kbytes/s.

After downloading of complementary words in \MSP430-FORTH\ANS_COMP.f, FastForth executes CORETEST.4th
without errors which ensures its compatibility with the FORTH CORE ANS94 standard.

Notice that FAST FORTH interprets lines up to 84 chars, only SPACE as delimiter, only CR+LF as
    End Of Line, and BACKSPACE. 
And that the high limit of FORTH program memory is $FF80. 

Finally, using the SCITE editor as IDE, all is ready to do everything from its "tools" menu.

What is new ?


-4 bytes.
The prompt "ok" becomes a compilation option.

Taking into account the digit separator '_' in ?NUMBER, to better see when typing binary words.
    example: %1010100011000111 can be typed as well: %1010_1000_1100_0111

Corrected >NUMBER

Modified GetFreeHandle CloseHandle

Tested with BLE 5.0 terminal (a couple of BGX13P EVK) at 16MHz, 921600 bds + terminal 5 wires: 
    download throughput = 5 kbytes/s (and with errors when ECHO is ON), disappointing...
    (Bluetooth 2.1 terminal with one RN42 works well).

RePeaTed instructions RRUX,RRCX,RLAX,ADDX,SUBX work fine! See TESTASMX.4TH


-26 bytes.
V3 prerelease
added experimental extended_assembler (MSP430FR5969,MSP430FR5994,MSP430FR6989)


-58 bytes.
Simplified directory structure of project.
Added switch DOUBLE_INPUT as kernel compilation ADDON, removed switch LOWERCASE.
Added \MSP430-FORTH\CORDIC.f for aficionados.
Added FF_SPECS.4th to show all specificities of FastForth compilation.
Corrected LITERAL (double LITERAL part).


-50 bytes.
Unlocking I/O's is transfered from RESET to WARM.
Thus, by redirecting WARM, you can add I/O's configuration of your application before unlock them.

    two options to do this:

        Light option: 
        your START routine is inserted in WARM and continues with the default WARM. 
        Search "START" in the \MSP430_FORTH\IR_RC5.f file as application example.

        Complete option: 
        START routine replaces WARM and continues with ABORT (without WARM message).
        In this case, you can also change the Reset events handling but you will need to unlock I/O's 
        and configure TERMINAL I/O's in your START routine. 
        Search "activate I/O" in \MSP430_FORTH\RC5toLCD.f file to see how to do.

Bugs corrected in target.asm, target.pat and device.inc files.


The terminal baudrate can be changed on the fly. Download MSP430-FORTH\CHNGBAUD.f to test.


     Bugs corrected: ALSO and :NONAME (option).

     The structure of primary DEFERred words as KEY,EMIT,CR,WARM... is modified,
     the address of their default execute part, without name, can be found with:
     ' <name> >BODY

         example, after this entry: ' DROP IS KEY
         KEY (or ' KEY EXECUTE) runs DROP i.e. runs the redirection made by IS,
         ' KEY >BODY EXECUTE runs KEY, the default action at the BODY address.

         and: ' KEY >BODY IS KEY
         restore the default action of this primary DEFERred word.

    WARNING! you cannot do that with words created by DEFER !
    DEFER creates only secondary DEFERred words, without BODY !

    to build a primary DEFERred FORTH word, 
    you must create a DEFERred word followed by a
    :NONAME definition, ended by ; IS <name>

         DEFER truc

         :NONAME         \ does nothing (for the example)
         ; IS truc

    The advantage of creating primary DEFERred words is to set their
    default state, enabling to reinitialize them easily.


    All assembly code is revamped.

    POPM and PUSHM instructions now follow the TI syntax :-(

    Added CODENNM as assembly counterpart of :NONAME (option)

    to build the primary DEFERred assembly word "machin" :

        DEFER machin

            NOP2        \ assembly instruction
            NOP3        \ assembly instruction
            MOV @IP+,PC \ mandatory before ENDCODE
        ENDCODE IS machin

    you can obviously mix LOW/HIGH levels in CODENNM and :NONAME areas...


Added MSP-EXP430FR2355 launchpad
Added word :NONAME (option).
FastForth terminal via Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR (Microchip RN42) works fine in full duplex mode,
up to 460800bds, 4 WIRES (GND,RX,TX,RTS); but with, as wireless effect, a bad troughput of 6kb/s
instead of 30kb/s with a bridge UART2USB.
Added 4Mbds,5Mbds terminal @16MHZ, for use with UART2USB PL2303HXD.
Words AND, OR, XOR are moved as complement in ANS_COMP.f file.
Simplified preprocessor files in \config\gema\ folder: only two for one target:
    one for the device, other for the target (launchpad or user application/module).
    and similarly with the assembly files: Device.inc and Target.asm, for compiling FastForth.
Corrected startup time in target.asm files.
Modified Clock config in MSP_EXP430FR2433.asm and MSP_EXP430FR4133.ASM, allowing clock modulation.


added the line number in case of error occurring when download a source file (*f,*.4th)
in HALFDUPLEX mode (scite command CTRL+2) or in default NOECHO mode (scite cmd CTRL+0).
However, in case of download a file.f (with preprocessing), this line number refers
to the contents of the file named LAST.4th.


modified OPEN file primitive in forthMSP430FR_SD_LOAD.asm; modified forthMSP430FR_SD_INIT.asm
reordered files preprocessor in only one folder.

You can now compile FastForth from Linux, see FastForth.pdf
...But desperately searching for the linux equivalent of TERATERM !

FastForth V2.0, major version.

Word TIB is deprecated and replaced by CIB (Current Input Buffer)
Word CR generates CR+LF instead of CR. TYPE is rewritten in assembly.

Added fixed point s15q16 numbers. Thus FAST FORTH recognises : 
unsigned/signed numbers u/n (u <= 65535) / (-32768 <= n <= 32767), 
unsigned/signed double numbers ud/d by adding a decimal point 
(ud <= .4294967295) / (-.2147483648 <= d <= .2147483647),
and s15q16 signed numbers by adding a comma (-32768,00000 <= s15q16 <= 32767,00000).

Fixed issue about the word LOAD": when called from a word, returns well into this calling word.
Note that with MSP430FR57xx family, SDIB uses PAD, due to lack of RAM.

With the BOOTLOADER option, QUIT becomes a DEFERed word to easily enable/disable bootloader:
' BOOT IS QUIT enables bootloader.
' QUIT >BODY IS QUIT disables bootloader.

Added QUIETBOOT option to enable BOOT without displaying; use with care...


Added a set of words to enable conditional interpretation/compilation : MARKER [DEFINED] [UNDEFINED] 
[IF] [ELSE] [THEN]. A MARKER word (defined as {word} to well see it) allows you to wipe some program 
even if loaded in memory below RST_STATE boundary.

All interpretation/compilation errors now execute POWER_STATE, so any incorrect definition
and all its source file will be automatically erased.

Added a bootloader option which loads BOOT.4TH from SD_Card memory.


SD_Card driver works also with software multiplier (with MSP430FR4133)
added SLEEP word enabling user access to background task, 
see ACCEPT in forthMSP430FR.asm and see use in RC5toLCD.f

You can type double numbers by inserting a decimal point.
Example :   $-12 is processed as 16 bits negative number.
            $-.12 or $-1.2 or $-12. are processed as 32 bits negative numbers.

FAST FORTH V160, major version.

Accept SD_Card from 64 MB (FAT16) up to 64 GB (FAT32). 
Note that Windows 10 no longer offers the FAT32 format for the highest sizes of SD_CARD memory.
So you must use an alternative to do, for example: https://www.partitionwizard.com.

in SD_TOOLS the word SECTOR dumps a sector (use a 32 bits number).
            the word CLUSTER dumps first sector of a cluster. 
            Usage (notice the point): number. CLUSTER or number. SECTOR

PREVIOUS versions

Added direct file transfer from PC to the target SD_CARD. 
Measured throughput with "HCI" SD CARD: 90 kbytes/s at 3Mbauds and 16MHz target clock.
You can do it from scite editor (menu Tools) or by using specific bat file.
Double click on it to see how to do.

JTAG and BSL signatures (FF80h-FF88h) are protected against overwrite, typically during 
source file download. 

added signed number prefixes $ (hex), % (bin) and # (decimal) to supersede current BASE.

Added words ASM and ENDASM to create assembler words that are not interpretable by FORTH
i.e. that are called by {CALL|INTERRUPT} and ended by {RET|RETI}. These so created words 
can be used only in ASSEMBLER context.

In the embedded assembler, added 3 backward BW1 BW2 BW3 and 3 forward FW1 FW2 FW3 jump labels 
to use with GOTO, ?GOTO.
These labels are for single use (one jump for one label) but immediately reusable once resolved.

you can compile up to 32 threads vocabularies.

Memory management :
Fast Forth defines 4 levels of program memory with this words :
    WIPE (and system failures) that resets program memory, vectors interrupts and any DEFERred words,
    RST_HERE/RST_STATE that sets/resets the boundary of program protected against <reset> and COLD,
    PWR_HERE/PWR_STATE that sets/resets the boundary of program protected against power ON/OFF,
    and nothing, i.e. volatile program.

You can download source files with hardware and/or software control flow (i.e. without line 
or char delays) up to:
    134400  bds @ 500kHz
    268800  bds @ 1MHz
    614400  bds @ 2MHz
    1228800 bds @ 4MHz
    2457600 bds @ 8MHz
    3000000 bds @ 16MHZ
    6000000 bds @ 24MHz with MSP430FR57xx devices
See main file DTCforthMSP430FR5xxx.asm for the list of reliable baudrates.

FAST FORTH can be adjusted by selection of SWITCHES in the source file to reduce its size according   
to your convenience. To do, comment/uncomment their line.

for your application, select the mode LPM{0,1,2,3,4} that enables wake on FAST FORTH input, 
depending of family: FR2xxx: LPM0, FR57xx : LPM0 to LPM2, FR59xx : LPM0 to LPM4.

DEEP_RST (RESET + WIPE) can be hardware performed via the programmation interface 

Many thanks to Brad Rodriguez

for his CamelForth which served me as a kind of canvas. And also to Matthias Koch for its ideas about s15.16 implementation.

Unlike CamelForth this FORTH is a "Direct Threaded Code", with an embedded assembler following the standard syntax, not the one used in the world Forth.

Its core is fully compliant with the standard ANS.

This is a FORTH optimized for the speed, especially in the interpreter mode, so that you can load an application program written in FORTH/Assembler faster than its binary via MSP430 Flasher.exe : everything can be done from your text editor, the preprocessor and a serial terminal.

What's this and why?

I have first programmed atmel tiny devices. Particularly I2C master driver to have both I2C slave and I2C master on a ATtiny461. which means a lot of back and forth between the editor, assembler, the programmer and the test in situ.

Previously I had programmed a FORTH on a Motorola 6809 and had been seduced by the possibility of sending a source file directly to the target using a serial terminal. Target which compiled and executed the program. At the time FORTH program lay in a battery backed RAM.

The advent of chip MSP430 TEXAS INSTRUMENT with embedded FRAM gave me the idea to do it again : FAST FORTH was born.

Today I dropped the ATMEL chips and proprietary interfaces, I program my applications in a mix 80%/20% of assembler/FORTH I then sent on MSP430FR5738 chips with embedded FAST FORTH.

And that's the magic: After I finished editing (or modify) the source file, I press the "send" button in my text editor and I can test result on target in the second following. This is the whole point of an IDE reduced to its simplest form: a text editor, a cable, a target.


See FastForth.pdf

Organize your gitlab copy of FastForth

See FastForth.pdf

Minimal Software

See FastForth.pdf

Build the program file

\forthMSP430FR.asm is the main file to compile FastForth:

Open forthMSP430FR.asm with scite editor

uncomment the target as you want, i.e. MSP_EXP430FR5969

choose frequency, baudrate, UART handshake.

uncomment options switches as your convenience.

save file.

assemble (CTRL+0). A window asks you for 4 parameters:

set target as first param, i.e. MSP_EXP430FR5969

then execute. the output will be \binaries\MSP_EXP430FR5969.txt

Load Txt file (TI format) to target

in \binaries folder, drag your target.txt file and drop it on prog.bat

or use scite internal command TOOLS: FET prog (CTRL+1).

nota : programming the device use SBW2 interface, so UARTn is free for serial terminal connexion.

If you want to program your own MSP430FRxxxx board, wire its pins TST, RST, 3V3 and GND to same pins of the launchpad, on eZ-FET side of the programming connector.

Connect the FAST FORTH target to a serial terminal

you will need an USBtoUART cable with a PL2303TA or PL2303HXD device that allows both XON/XOFF and hardware control flow :


or USBtoUART bridge, with a CP2102 device and 3.3V/5V that allows XON/XOFF control flow :

search google: cp2102 module 3.3V

you must program CP2102 device to access 1382400 and 1843200 bds rates :

or a USBtoUART bridge, with a FT232RL device and 3.3V/5V for only hardware control flow:

WARNING! buy a FT232RL module with a switch 5V/3V3 and select 3V3.


or compatible 921600bds wireless module: RN42 (bluesmirf), RN4878...

How to configure the connection ?

1- XON/XOFF control flow: Launchpad UARTn USBtoUART bridge TERATERM

launchpad UART2USB TXn ---> RX

  TeraTerm configuration : see forthMSP430fr.asm

If you plan to supply your target vith a PL2303 cable, open its box to weld red wire onto 3.3V pad.

2- hardware control flow: Launchpad UARTn USBtoUART bridge TERATERM

Launchpad UART2USB TXn ---> RX
RXn CTS 4th wire

  TeraTerm configuration : see forthMSP430fr.asm

3- Bluetooth module: Launchpad UARTn RN42 <-wirelessBL2.1-> TERATERM Launchpad UARTn BGX13P EVK <-wirelessBLE5.0-> BGX13P EVK USB TERATERM

launchpad wireless module TXn ---> RX
RXn CTS 4th wire GND GND
(CTS 3V3

  TeraTerm configuration : see forthMSP430fr.asm

Send a source file.f or file.4th to the FAST FORH target

Three bat files are done in \MSP430-FORTH that enable you to do all you want. drag and drop your source file on to. you can also open any source file with scite editor, and do all you want via its Tools menu.

If you have any downloading error, first verify in "LAST.4th" that all lines are correctly ended with CR+LF.

SD_Card Load, Read, Write and Delete

First, hardware

If you have MSP-EXP430FR5994, nothing to do.

For the choice of a SD card socket be carefull, pin CD (Card Detect) must be present! google search: "micro SD card 9 pin" Look for the good wiring in /Launchpad.asm file

Compile with SD_Card addon

in forthMSP430FR.asm, uncomment lines SDCARDLOADER, SDCARDREADWRITE, SDTOOLS then compile for your target

the commands

With the LOAD" pathame" command you load your source files from a SD_CARD memory in both execute and compile modes. Idem for READ", WRITE" and DEL" commands.

See "SD_TESTS.f", a FORTH program done for example

If you remove the SD memory card reader and then reset, all SD_IO pins are available except SD_CD obviously.

HowTo LOAD a sourcefile

LOAD" path\filename.4th".

The file is interpreted by FORTH in same manner than from the serial terminal.

When EOF is reached, the file is automatically closed.

A source file can LOAD" an other source file, and so on in the limit of available handles (up to 8).

HowTo READ a file

READ" path\filename.ext".

The first sector of this file is loaded in BUFFER. To read next sectors, use the command READ that loads the next sector in the buffer, and leaves on the stack a flag that is true when the EOF is reached. The file is automatically closed. See tstwords.4th for basic usage.

The variable BufferLen keep the count of bytes to be read (0 to 512).

If you want to anticipate the end, use the CLOSE command.

HowTo WRITE a file

WRITE" path\filename.ext".

If the file does not exist, create it, else open it and set the write pointer at the end of the file, ready to append chars.

See example of use in \MSP430-FORTH\SD_TEST.f.

To overwrite an existing file: DEL" file" then WRITE" file".

Use CLOSE to close the file.

HowTo delete a file

DEL" path\filename.ext". If the file is not found, do nothing, no error.

HowTo change DIRectory

LOAD" \misc".           \misc becomes the current folder.
LOAD" ..\"              parent folder becomes the current folder.
LOAD" \"                Root becomes the current folder.

Drive letters are always ignored.

Downloading source file to SD_Card

to download a source file (.f or.4th) onto SD_CARD target, use CopySourceFileToTarget_SD_Card.bat. Double click on one of this bat files to see how to do.

or use scite.

If you have any downloading error, first verify in "LAST.4th" that all lines are correctly ended with CR+LF.


The I2C_Soft_Master driver with normal/fast mode allows you to add then use any couple of pins to drive a bus I2C :

  • without use of eUSCI UCBx
  • I2C_Soft_MultiMaster driver : same plus detection collision
  • plus I2C_Slave driver that uses the eUSCI UCBx hardware

Other interesting specificities :

Management of vocabularies (not ANSI): VOCABULARY, DEFINITIONS, ONLY, ALSO, PREVIOUS, CONTEXT, CURRENT, FORTH, ASSEMBLER. In fact, it's the the assembler that requires the vocabularies management.

Recognizing prefixed numbers %101011 (bin), $00FE (hex) and #220 (decimal).


The words DEFER and IS are implemented. CR, EMIT, KEY, ACCEPT, QUIT and WARM are deferred words.

Error messages are colored (reverse video on ANSI terminal).

Assembly jumps are as FORTH one's : IF, ELSE, THEN, BEGIN, AGAIN, UNTIL, WHILE. Not canonical jumps are also available with JMP|?JMP to a predefined word, and GOTO|?GOTO to backward labels BW1 BW2 BW3 or forward labels FW1 FW2 FW3. These labels are for one use. Switch within definitions between FORTH and Assembly contexts with words HI2LO and LO2HI. See examples in the TstWords.f file. This is perhaps the most interesting feature for development...

The system is not responding ?

First, swich off then switch on. FORTH restarts as it was after the last PWR_HERE command.

If the system is not restarted, press button on the MSP-EXP430FR5xxx ; FORTH restarts as it was after the last RST_HERE command.

If the system does not restart again, wire the TERMINAL TX pin to GND via 4k7 resistor then ; FORTH restarts as it is in the HEX file. Equivalent word : COLD + WIPE.

Here is the FastForth init architecture :

case 0 : when you type WARM, FORTH interpreter is restarted, no program lost. 
         the WARM display is preceded by "#0". 

case 1 : Power ON ==> performs reset and the program beyond PWR_HERE is lost.
         the WARM display is preceded by the SYSRSTIV value "#2".

case 1.1 : when you type PWR_STATE ==> the program beyond PWR_HERE is lost.

case 1.2 : If an error message (reverse video) occurs, PWR_STATE is automatically executed 
           and the program beyond PWR_HERE is lost. In this way, any compilation error is 
           followed by the complete erasure of the uncompleted word, or by that of
           the downloading source file causing this error. So, it is recommended to finish 
           a source file with at least PWR_HERE to protect it against any subsequent error.

case 2 : <reset>  ==> performs reset and the program beyond RST_HERE is lost.
         the WARM display is preceded by the SYSRSTIV value "#4".

case 2.1 : when you type COLD (software reset) ==> same effects.
           the WARM display is preceded by the SYSRSTIV value "#6".

case 2.2 : when you type RST_STATE ==> the program beyond RST_HERE is lost.

case 3 : when you type WIPE ==> all programs donwloaded from the terminal or the SD_Card are lost.

case 4 : TERM_TX wired to GND via 4k7 during <reset> = DEEP_RST ===> performs reset, and all programs 
         donwloaded from the terminal or the SD_Card are lost. The WARM display is preceded by "-4". 

case 4.1 : software reset on failure (SYSRSTIV = 0Ah | SYSRSTIV >= 16h) ===> same effects
           The WARM display is preceded by the SYSRSTIV value.

case 4.2 : writing -1 in SAVE_SYSRSTIV before COLD = software DEEP_RST ===> same effects
           The WARM display is preceded by "-1".

case 5 : after FAST FORTH core compilation, the WARM displays SAVE_SYSRSTIV = 5. User may use this
         information before WARM occurs.

If SD_CARD extention and SD_CARD memory with \BOOT.4TH included, the cases 1 to 4 starts it after displaying of WARM message.


These words are not ANS94 compliant, they are those of F83 standard.

For example, after loading SD_TOOLS add-on, you can type: ALSO ASSEMBLER WORDS PREVIOUS WORDS

With ALSO ASSEMBLER, the vocabulary ASSEMBLER is added to the search CONTEXT thus the ASSEMBLER words
become visible

WORDS display the words of ASSEMBLER then those of FORTH,

PREVIOUS remove the vocabulary ASSEMBLER form the CONTEXT, and the ASSEMBLER words become hidden,

so the last WORDS display only FORTH words.

In the forthMSP430FR_ASM.asm, see the FORTH word CODE that add ASSEMBLER to the search CONTEXT and the ASSEMBLER word ENDCODE that remove ASSEMBLER from search CONTEXT. Thus, the assembler words can be used only between CODE and ENDCODE.

The CONTEXT can grow up to 6 vocabularies by using the word ALSO.

If you want add words to the assembler you must type: ALSO ASSEMBLER DEFINITIONS, The vocabulary ASSEMBLER is added to the search CONTEXT as previously but also becomes the CURRENT vocabulary in which the new words will be stored.

Finally, FORTH ONLY DEFINITIONS limits the search CONTEXT to FORTH and the CURRENT vocabulary is FORTH.


With the preprocessor GEMA the embedded assembler allows access to all system variables. See files \inc\Target.pat. You can also access to VARIABLE, CONSTANT or DOES type words. See \MSP430-FORTH\TESTASM.4th.

HOW TO MIX assembly and FORTH ?

FAST FORTH knows two kinds of words :

low level assembly words starting with CODE <name> and ended with ENDCODE.

high level FORTH words beginning with : <name> and ended with ;


CODE ADD    \ Assembly word "ADD", alias of word +
    MOV @IP+,PC

: NOOP      \ FORTH word "NOOP", do nothing

To end a low level assembly word, the instruction MOV @IP+,PC jumps to the next FORTH word. This faster (4 cycles) and shorter (one word) instruction replaces the famous pair of assembly instructions : CALL #LABEL ... RET (4+4 cycles, 2+1 words). The register IP is the Interpretative Pointer.

High level FORTH word starts with a boot code DOCOL that save the IP pointer, load it with the first address of a list of execution addresses, then performs a postincrement branch to this first address. The list ends with the address of another piece of code EXIT (6 cycles) that restores IP before the instruction MOV @IP+,PC.

here, the compilation of low level word ADD :

                header          \ compiled by the word CODE
execution addr  ADD @PSP+,TOS
                MOV @IP+,PC     \ instruction called NEXT

and the one of the high level word NOOP :

                header          \ compiled by the word :
execution addr  CALL rDOCOL     \ boot code compiled by the word :
                addr of DUP     \ execution addr of DUP
                addr of DROP    \ execution addr of DROP
                addr of EXIT    \ execution addr of EXIT compiled by the word ;

A high level FORTH word is a list of execution addresses preceded by a boot code and ending with EXIT address.


any low level FORTH words must be ended with the instruction MOV @IP+,PC (NEXT).

    CODE TEST               \ CODE starts a low level word
        asm1                \ assembly instruction 1
        asm2                \ assembly instruction 2
        MOV @IP+,PC         \ NEXT
    ENDCODE                 \ end of low level word

If you want to use the IP register, save it before and restore it before NEXT

    CODE TEST1              \ CODE starts a low level word
        asm1                \ assembly instructions
        PUSH IP             \ save IP before use
        MOV #1,IP           \ assembly instruction that uses IP
        ...                 \ assembly instructions
        MOV @RSP+,IP        \ restore IP
        MOV @IP+,PC         \ NEXT
    ENDCODE                 \ end of low level word

A little more complex, the case of mixing FORTH and assembly that is enabled by the words HI2LO, LO2HI and COLON

    : MIX_FORTH_ASM         \ definition of a FORTH word starts with :
    HI2LO                   \ FORTH to assembler switch
        asm1                \ assembly instruction
        asm2                \ assembly instruction
        ...                 \ you can freely use IP !
        ...                 \ assembly instructions
        MOV @RSP+,IP        \ restore IP
        MOV @IP+,PC         \ NEXT
    ENDCODE                 \ end of low level word

If we see the code "MIX_FORTH_ASM" after compilation :

        header              \ compiled by :
exec@   CALL rDOCOL         \ boot code compiled by the word :
        addr                \ execution addr of SWAP
        addr                \ execution addr of DUP
        next addr           \ addr of asm1, compiled by HI2LO
        asm1                \ assembly instruction
        asm2                \ assembly instruction
        ...                 \ you can freely use IP !
        ...                 \ assembly instructions
        MOV @RSP+,IP        \ restore IP saved by boot code
        MOV @IP+,PC         \ NEXT

going a step further :

    CODE MIX_ASM_FORTH      \ CODE starts a low level word
        asm1                \ assembly instruction 1
        asm2                \ assembly instruction 2
    COLON                   \ starts high level
    ;                       \ end of high level word

If we see this code "MIX_ASM_FORTH" after compilation :

        header              \ compiled by CODE
exec@   asm1                \ assembly instruction 1
        asm2                \ assembly instruction 2
        CALL rDOCOL         \ compiled by COLON
        addr1               \ of word1
        addr2               \ of word2
        addr of EXIT        \ the word ; compiles address of EXIT that restores IP then executes MOV @IP+,PC

A new step

    : MIX_FORTH_ASM_FORTH   \ definition of a FORTH word starts with :
    HI2LO                   \ FORTH to assembler switch
        MOV #0,IP           \ IP is free for use
    LO2HI                   \ assembler to FORTH switch
    ;                       \ end of high level word

the compiled result

        header              \ compiled by :
exec@   CALL rDOCOL         \ boot code compiled by the word :
        addr1               \ of word1
        addr2               \ of word2
        next addr           \ compiled by HI2LO
        MOV #0,IP           \ IP is free for use
        asm1                \ assembly instruction
        CALL #EXIT          \ compiled by LO2HI (10 cycles switch)
        addr3               \ of word3
        addr4               \ of word4
        addr5               \ of EXIT

EXIT is used twice !

the first time, by LO2HI :

EXIT    MOV @RSP+,IP    \ 2 pop into IP the PC pushed on return stack by CALL #EXIT
        MOV @IP+,PC     \ 4 execute the routine at addr3 

then at the end of FORTH word (addr5):

EXIT    MOV @RSP+,IP    \ 2 pop old IP from return stack
        MOV @IP+,PC     \ 4 execute the routine pointed by the old IP

Still another step :

    CODE MIX_ASM_FORTH_ASM  \ CODE starts a low level word
        asm1                \ assembly instruction
        asm2                \ assembly instruction
    COLON                   \ starts high level
    HI2LO                   \ FORTH to assembler switch
        asm3                \ assembly instruction
        asm4                \ assembly instruction
        MOV @RSP+,IP        \ restore IP
        MOV @IP+,PC         \ NEXT
    ENDCODE                 \ end of low level word

In fact, an exclusive of FAST FORTH, the start of a word FORTH can be placed anywhere :

    COLON                   \ starts high level
    HI2LO                   \ FORTH to assembler switch
    LO2HI                   \ assembler to FORTH switch
    ;                       \ end of high level word

with the compiled result :

        header              \ compiled by CODE
exec@   asm
        CALL rDOCOL         \ compiled by COLON
        next address        \ compiled by HI2LO
        CALL #EXIT          \ compiled by LO2HI
        EXIT addr           \ that restores IP from return stack and then executes MOV @IP+,PC

As we see, IP is saved only once, it's logical.


To compare AS macro assembler and FastForth embedded assembler, compare files \ADDON\FIXPOINT.asm and \MSP430-FORTH\FIXPOINT.f

The syntax of FastForth assembler borrows FORTH's one :

    CMP #1,R8           \ set Z,N,V, flags
    0= IF               \ irritating, the "IF 0=" upside down, isn't it?
        ADD R8,R9       \ true part of comparaison
    ...                 \ the next
    MOV @IP+,PC         \ don't forget...
ENDCODE                 \ don't forget...

and the complete version :

    CMP #1,R8           \ set Z,N,V, flags
    0= IF               \
        ADD R8,R9       \ true part of comparaison
        SUB R8,R9       \ false part of comparaison
    ...                 \ following for the two branches
    MOV @IP+,PC         \ don't forget...
ENDCODE                 \ don't forget...

test for loop back version BEGIN ... UNTIL

    MOV #8,R10
        SUB #1,R10      \ set Z,N,V flags
    0= UNTIL            \ loop back to BEGIN if flag Z is not set
    MOV @IP+,PC

test for out of loop version BEGIN ... WHILE ... REPEAT

    MOV #8,R10
        SUB #1,R10      \ set Z,N,V flags
    0<> WHILE           \ go to out of loop if X=0 (Z flag =1)
        XOR #1,R9   
    REPEAT              \ unconditionnal loop back to BEGIN 
    ...                 \ out of loop here
    MOV @IP+,PC

infinite loop :

        ADD #1,R9
    AGAIN               \ unconditionnal loop back to BEGIN 

to quit this infinite loop, press reset.

We can nest several conditional branches :

    CMP #0,R10
    0= IF
        CMP #0,R10
        0= IF
            MOV #0,R11
            SUB #1,R11
        MOV #1,R11
    MOV @IP+,PC

another nest :

    MOV #8,R9
        CMP #-1,R9
        0= IF   
            MOV @IP+,PC \ out of test_NESTED_BEGIN_AGAIN_IF
        SUB #1,R9

you can also MIX conditional branches with a mix of FORTH/assembly :

see TEST5 in the demo file \MSP430-FORTH\TESTASM.4TH

...but not quite !

unconditionnal backward jump :

        JMP TEST_NESTED_BEGIN_AGAIN_IF  \ jump backward to a predefined word

conditionnal backward jump :

        CMP #0,R8
        S< ?JMP TEST_NESTED_BEGIN_AGAIN_IF    \ jump backward if negative
        MOV @IP+,PC

But FAST FORTH have one pass assembler, not able to make forward jump.

I have added possibility of several "non canonical" jumps, up to 3 backward and up to 3 forward imbricated jumps to label :

\ C UM/MOD   udlo|udhi u1 -- ur uq
    MOV @PSP+,W     \ 2 W = DIVIDENDhi
    MOV @PSP,S      \ 2 S = DIVIDENDlo
\ T.I. ROUTINE  Section 5.1.5 of MSP430 Family Application Reports
    MOV #0,Y        \ 1 CLEAR RESULT
BW1 CMP TOS,W       \ 1
    U< ?GOTO FW1    \ 2 if not carry
    SUB TOS,W       \ 1 if carry DIVIDENDhi-divisor
FW1                 \   FW1 label is resolved therefore reusable
BW2 ADDC Y,Y        \ 1 RLC quotient
    U>= ?GOTO FW1   \ 2 if carry Error: result > 16 bits
    SUB #1,X        \ 1 Decrement loop counter
    <0 ?GOTO FW2    \ 2 if 0< terminate w/o error
    ADD S,S         \ 1 RLA DIVIDENDlo
    ADDC W,W        \ 1 RLC DIVIDENDhi
    U< ?GOTO BW1    \ 2 if not carry    14~ loop
    SUB TOS,W       \ 1 if carry DIVIDENDhi-divisor
    BIS #1,SR       \ 1 SETC
    GOTO BW2        \ 2                 14~ loop
FW2 BIC #1,SR       \ 1 CLRC  No error, C = 0
FW1                 \  Error indication in C
\ END of T.I. ROUTINE  Section 5.1.5 of MSP430 Family Application Reports
    MOV W,0(PSP)    \ 3 remainder on stack
    MOV Y,TOS       \ 1 quotient in TOS
    MOV @IP+,PC     \ 4


I have discovered a little semantic preprocessor "GEMA", just like that FAST FORTH have its symbolic assembler !

\inc\DEVICE.pat contains memory map and vectors for a specified DEVICE
\inc\LAUNCHPAD.pat is the I/O config file for specific LAUNCHPAD (or application)

gema translates also FORTH registers in ASM registers (R0 to R15)

With the three bat files in \MSP430_FORTH folder all is done automatically.


1- in forthMSP430FR.asm "TARGET configuration" create a line for your target, example:

;MY_MSP430FR5738_1 ; compile for my own MSP430FR5738 miniboard V1

2- create your \inc\MSP430FR5738_1.asm and \inc\MSP430FR5738.inc from another target.asm and device.inc as pattern, Notice that you must define here only the necessary for FAST-FORTH compilation.

3- in \inc\ThingsInFirst.inc add one "device.inc" item:

    .IFDEF MY_MSP430FR5738_1
UCA0_UART   ; defines uart used by FORTH input terminal 
LF_XTAL     ; defines if your module have a 32768 Hz xtal, to enable it.
UCB0_SD     ; defines UC used for SD Card driver if used
    .include "MSP430FR5738.inc"  ; include device declarations

4- in \inc\TargetInit.asm add one "target.asm" item:

    .IFDEF MY_MSP430FR5738_1
        .include MY_MSP430FR5738_1.asm

Then, for the preprocessor which you will use when downloading source files:

1- create your \inc\device.pat file if not exist, from your \inc\device.inc and another \inc\device.pat as pattern.

2- create your \inc\target.pat file from your \inc\target.asm and another \inc\target.pat as pattern.

Best practice, I suggest you that all digital pins you define (input or output) in your projects have their idle state high, with external pull up resistor that is the reset state of FastForth...


How to start your project ?

I show you, assuming you are working from the scite editor with its enhanced tools menu.

First you create two files : project.f and test.f


; ----------------------------------------------------
; MSP430FR5969 MSP_EXP430FR5969 8MHZ 921600bds PROJECT.f
; ----------------------------------------------------

[DEFINED] {PROJECT} [IF] {PROJECT} [THEN] \ remove {PROJECT} if exist (memory managment)


here you append your already tested routines :

CODE FIRST  \ assembler CODE words are FORTH executable

ASM TWO     \ assembler ASM words are not FORTH executable and can only be used in assembler mode
    ...     \ used to define interrupt routines, or subroutines called by CALL...
RET         \ and ended by RET or RETI.

CALL #TWO   \ CALL only ASM words

ASM WDT_INT             \ interrupt routine
BIC #WDTIFG,&SFRIFG1    \ reset WDT_INT flag
BIC #$F8,0(RSP)         \ set CPU ON and GIE OFF in saved SR
RETI                    \   


then finish with this 2 "magic" words plus one optional : START, STOP and optional BACKGROUND

ASM BACKGROUND          \ (optional)
    ...                 \ insert here your background task
BIS &LPM_MODE,SR        \
ENDASM                  \

CODE START              \ to init your app
    ...                 \ init assembly part
MOV #WDT_INT,&VEC_WDT   \ init WDT vector interrupt
BIC #RC5,&P1REN         \ init I/O

MOV #SLEEP,X            \ redirect default background task
MOV #BACKGROUND,2(X)    \ to yours (optional)

    ...                 \ init FORTH part

    ['] WARM >BODY      \ and end START with default WARM
    EXECUTE             \ that unlock I/O, start FORTH process
;                       \ then fall down to sleep state, waiting any interrupt...

CODE STOP               \ to properly stop your app
    MOV #SLEEP,X        \ restore the default background (optional)
    ADD #4,X            \ (word SLEEP can only be seen in assembler mode, not in FORTH)
    MOV X,-2(X)
    ['] WARM >BODY
    IS WARM             \ remove START from FORTH init process 
    ECHO                \ to always retrieve FORTH input terminal
    COLD                \ reset CPU, interrupt vectors and restart FORTH.


START       ; let's go!

end of file

Each time you download this project file, the word {PROJECT} removes all subsequent definitions, and the word RST_HERE protects the PROJECT against RESET.

The word START allows you to include your app init into FORTH's one. The word STOP unlink your app from FORTH init process.

Look at the file RC5toLCD.f to retrieve this structure.

TEST.f :

\ ----------------------------------
\ MSP-EXP430FR5969_8MHZ_TEST.f
\ ----------------------------------

RST_STATE   \ memory managment

here you write your routine to test


PWR_HERE    \ test.f content is protected against POWER OFF, but volatile with <reset>

Each time you download this TEST file, the word RST_STATE clears memory content beyond PROJECT.

let's go

With the SCITE menu tools : send a file.f, you download first your project.f file, then your test.f file that include the routine to test.

If the test don't work, modify it in the test.f file, then reload it.

When the routine "test" works as you want, you cut it in test.f file and copy it in project.f, then when you reload it, test is done !

Good luck !


The embedded assembler don't recognize the (useless) TI's symbolic addressing mode: ADD.B EDE,TONI.

REGISTERS correspondence (the preprocessor gema.exe allow you to use FASTFORTH or TI registers's names).

embedded ASM    TI      FASTFORTH   comment 

    R0          PC      PC          Program Counter
    R1          SP      RSP         Return Stack Pointer
    R2          SR/CG1              Status Register/Constant Generator 1
    R3          CG2                 Constant Generator 2
    R4          R4      R (rDODOES) contents address of xdodoes   
    R5          R5      Q (rDOCON)  contents address of xdocon    
    R6          R6      P (rDOVAR)  contents address of RFROM           
    R7          R7      M (rDOCOL)  contents address of xDOCOL (DTC=1|2)            
    R8          R8      Y           scratch register
    R9          R9      X           scratch register
    R10         R10     W           scratch register
    R11         R11     T           scratch register
    R12         R12     S           scratch register      
    R13         R13     IP          Interpretation Pointer
    R14         R14     TOS         Top Of parameters Stack
    R15         R15     PSP         Parameters Stack Pointer


The FASTFORTH registers rDOCOL, rDOVAR, rDOCON and rDODOES must be preserved. 
If you use them you can either PUSHM #4,M before and POPM #4,M after,
or by restoring after use their FastForth default values:
xdocol, xdovar, xdocon, xdodoes. See device.pat.

But if you use this registers you must not at the same time use any FORTH words
created by them! 

don't use R3 and use R2 only with BIC, BIT, BIS instructions in register mode.


The register TOS (Top Of Stack) is the first cell of the Parameters stack. 
The register PSP (Parameters Stack Pointer) points the second cell.

to push one cell on the PSP stack :

    SUB #2,PSP                  \ insert a empty 2th cell
    MOV TOS,0(PSP)              \ fill this 2th cell with first cell
    MOV <what you want>,TOS     \ MOV or MOV.B <what you want>,TOS ; i.e. update first cell

to pop one cell from the PSP stack :

    MOV @PSP+,TOS               \ first cell TOS is lost and replaced by the 2th.

don't never pop a byte with instruction MOV.B @PSP+, because generates a stack misalignement...


register RSP is the Return Stack Pointer (SP).

to push one cell on the RSP stack :

    PUSH <what you want>        \

to pop one cell from the RSP stack :

    MOV @RSP+,<where you want>   \

don't never pop a byte with instruction MOV.B @RSP+, ...

to push multiple registers on the RSP stack :

    PUSHM #n,Rx                 \  with 0 <= x-(n-1) < 16

to pop multiple registers from the RSP stack :

    POPM #n,Rx                  \  with 0 <= x-(n-1) < 16

PUSHM order : R15,R14,R13,R12,R11,R10, R9, R8,  R7  ,  R6  ,  R5  ,   R4   , R3, R2, R1, R0

example : PUSHM #6,IP pushes IP,S,T,W,X,Y registers to return stack

POPM  order :  PC,RSP, SR, R3, rDODOES,rDOCON,rDOVAR, rEXIT,  Y,  X,  W,  T,  S, IP,TOS,PSP
POPM  order :  R0, R1, R2, R3,   R4   ,  R5  ,  R6  ,   R7 , R8, R9,R10,R11,R12,R13,R14,R15

example : POPM #6,IP   pulls Y,X,W,T,S,IP registers from return stack

error occurs if n is out of bounds


example : RRUM #3,Y      \ Y (R8) register is Unsigned Right shifted by n=3

error occurs if 1 > n > 4

conditionnal jumps use with symbolic assembler

0<>   with IF UNTIL WHILE ?JMP ?GOTO   
U<    with IF UNTIL WHILE ?JMP ?GOTO    
S<    with IF UNTIL WHILE ?JMP ?GOTO    
0>=   with IF UNTIL WHILE
0<    with ?JMP ?GOTO 
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